This past week we celebrated our one year anniversary as youth leaders. This has been an adventure, a growing experience, a (insert euphemism here). The girls that remain in the group have been there since we took over and have been rock solid the whole time. But, to be very honest, it has been our toughest year in ministry. We have served in many areas and for the first 9 months, this was the hardest. This has been the year where we kept returning to the verses in Philippians that speak of being in the “fellowship of His sufferings”.
The fellowship of His sufferings. Fellowship as in….gathering, hanging out together, joining with Him in, His sufferings. His rejection, His loss of relationships, His being betrayed, all of it. His sufferings.
The teens and pre-teen (just one of those) who remain in the youth group are amazing young women. They are strong and bold and confident and fierce and dearly loved by us. And they have been amazing the whole time. Often they were the calm in the storm. Always, they were loving. Never were they all the things you hear about teenagers. And continually did they exhibit graceful peace when they, too, were caught in the whirlwind. And for the past three months, the point when things calmed, they have been laughter and joy and promise and we have been greatly humbled to be entrusted with discipling them and helping them pursue a deeper more personal relationship with Christ. As I see their faces, I continually remind myself of the Levi Lusko quote….
“The youth are not the church of tomorrow. The youth are the church of RIGHT FREAKIN’ NOW!”.
That day last summer, we (and it has taken me a year to admit this) took over a youth group in crisis. We, who had absolutely zero experience in youth ministry and have never even raised a teenager, took over a youth group in crisis. We took over a group that had leadership issues and varous folks fighting for what they wanted and only what they wanted. And we had to right the ship and we had no idea how to right the ship. But Christ did and only He could get things back on track. So during a very uncomplicated moment where God said “do this” and we said “well, okay” a very complicated year began and we walked to the front lines and fought, brutally fought, for a small group of youth, a precious remnant, who were completely and totally worth it.
One mistake I made during the year (one of millions) was to set aside the things I enjoyed. I set them aside “for the work”. I became too involved in all of the issues going on that I forgot about those things that brought me joy, helped me relax and, at times, helped me pray. When my brain has been going a million miles a minute, knitting was always a way to distract part of my brain so I could just pray without all of the racing thoughts. Spinning also provided calm and focus by simply distracting part of my mind. Returning to knitting, really paying attention but not getting too obsessed with every mistake, has really brought me so much joy over the past month or two. I feel like now my prayer times need to always include “thank you for fiber”. I still am no master knitter and I never will be. I’m just a knitter who has found great joy by having wool run through my fingers.
And blogging too.
Finished Spinning Project
(Still needs a bath)
Sweet Georgia BFL
Color: Black Plum
Not be best spinning project but still getting into the swing of things.
Boston Terrier Mittens: Mitten 2 Progress
Madly in love with this project!
Knit Companion for iPad
I am madly in love with this.